Acupuncture and its Benefits

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Acupuncture has started in ancient years and has come a long way. It is one of the original Chinese traditional medicines. It has a lot of variations that are practiced and taught throughout the world. It has also been the subject of active scientific research both in regard to its basis and therapeutic effectiveness since the late 20th century but remained controversial among medical researchers and clinician.



Acupuncture is the procedure of inserting and manipulating needles into various points on the body. The focus of acupuncture therapy is to promote health and alleviate pain and suffering.



Three concepts of acupuncturist as to its perspective view on health and sickness are as follows:


  • vital energy

  • energetic balance

  • energetic imbalance



The acupuncturist also assesses the flow and distribution of this “vital energy” within its pathways, known as “meridians and channels”.



Acupuncture works in different ways. It works on a person’s body points which are believed to stimulate the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) causing the release of chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals either change the experience of pain or release other chemicals, such as hormones, influencing the body’s self-regulating systems. The biochemical changes may stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities promoting physical and emotional well-being.



Acupuncture works in three mechanisms:



Acupuncture points are strategic conductors of electromagnetic signals. Stimulating points along these pathways through acupuncture enables electromagnetic signals to be relayed at a greater rate than under normal conditions. These signals may start the flow of pain-killing biochemicals, such as endorphins, and of immune system cells to specific sites in the body that are injured or vulnerable to disease.



The opioid system is also activated through acupuncture. It releases several types of opioids into the central nervous system during acupuncture treatment, thereby reducing pain.



Acupuncture can also bring changes in brain chemistry, sensation and involuntary functions of the body. It may alter brain chemistry by changing the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones. It has also has been documented to affect the parts of the central nervous system related to sensation and involuntary body functions, such as immune reactions and processes whereby a person’s blood pressure, blood flow, and body temperature are regulated.

Sources:

http://chinese-school.netfirms.com/acupuncture-mechanisms-of-action.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acupuncture

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by Dr. Geo

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